Corde Oblique – “A Hail of Bitter Almonds” (2011)


Label: Prikosnovenie

Review by Luisa Mercier

Fourth release for Riccardo Prencipe‘s project Corde Oblique, musician focused on reinterpreting the Mediterranean folk music. He is always joined by his usual collaborators: Edo Notalaberti playing violin, Umberto Lepore at contrabass and Alessio Sica playing drums and percussions. Prencipe writes songs that have a classical mood, even though the traditional influence is always quite present as in the opener, the title-track, that mixes piano, violin and female vocals that have a folk nuance. Completed devoted to Art are the lyrics to “Arpe di Vento”, a beautiful piece of music full of light and melody.  In the following “Paestum” the composition is more immaterial: Annalisa Madonna‘s vocals are sweet, ethereal and acoustic guitar plus Luigi Rubino‘s piano create an amazing neoclassic fresco which is on of the most beautiful things I have ever heard. “Slide” is a short mesmerizing track with an ethnic feeling, like some distant tribe is playing it while “Le Pietre di Napoli” is a melancholic painting of the hometown of Roberto, that city of Naples so full of contradictions. Quite apparent is the influence of progressive folk in the cover of Radiohead “Jigsaw Falling” sung by Claudia Sorvillo while in the following “Crypta Neapolitana” the guest is Spyros Giasafakis from Daemonia Nymphe. Quite romantic on the other hand “Together Alone” and “The Man of Wood”. I would like also to mention “Pietra Bianca” inspired by my homeland Salento and its white stone walls, where you can also feel the influence of local folk music such as pizzica in Floriana Cangillo‘s voice. Definitely an album for beauty lovers.

Rating – 75/100



  1. A Hail of Bitter Almonds
  2. Together Alone
  3. Arpe di Vento
  4. Paestum
  5. La Madre che non C’è
  6. Slide
  7. Le Pietre di Napoli
  8. Jigsaw Falling Into Place
  9. Crypta Neapolitana
  10. Gioia di Vivere
  11. Red Little Wine
  12. The Man of Wood
  13. Le Piccole Cose
  14. Pietra Bianca
  15. Su un Dipinto di Giovanni Bellini


Line Up

  • Floriana Cangiano – Vocals on tracks 1, 3, 7, 10, 14, 15
  • Claudia Sorvillo – Vocals on track 8; Back vocals on track 12
  • Caterina Pontrandolfo – Vocals on tracks 5, 9, 13
  • Annalisa Madonna – Vocals on track 4
  • Sergio Panarella – Vocals on tracks 2, 12; Piano on track 2
  • Riccardo Prencipe – Classic and acoustic guitar
  • Umberto Lepore – Bass, frettless, double bass
  • Luigi Rubino – Piano
  • Francesco Manna – Cajon, bodhran,daf, tar, riq, tar with brush, jingles, tambourine, caxixi, sheker, tombak, darbouka, udu drum, zagat, bells
  • Franco Perreca – Clarinet, flute on track 14
  • Alfredo Notarloberti – Violin
  • Alessio Sica – Drums


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